UCSB Basketball inks three recruits

The UC Santa Barbara men’s basketball program has signed one junior college standout and a pair of high school stars to National Letters of Intent and the trio will join the program for the 2013-14 season, head coach Bob Williams announced Wednesday.

The trio includes point guard Zalmico Harmon from Ventura College, point guard Eric Childress from Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, Calif., and forward Alex Hart from Immaculata Catholic Regional High School in Kelowna, British Columbia.

Harmon, who graduated from Ballou High School in Washington D.C., was chosen Western State Conference North Division Player of the Year and First Team All-State after leading Ventura College to a 24-7 overall record and a spot in the California State Community College Tournament. The 6-foot-0, 180-pound guard averaged a team-leading 15.8 points and 5.9 assists per game. He also averaged 3.3 rebounds per game and made 40-of-108 three-point shots, 37.0%. In addition, Harmon was one of the best free throw shooters in California as he made 171-of-197, 86.8%.

“Zalmico is big, strong, tough and a great leader,” Williams said. “He has an unbelievable work ethic and prides himself on the fact that he will do anything it takes to win. It will be great to have a point guard that can defend the one or the two because he is so strong. He can also shoot it, has a good mid-range game and can get to the rim.”

Harmon played for three years at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va., before completing his high school career at Ballou HS. Following his senior campaign, he played for one year at a prep school, Redemption Christian Academy in Albany, N.Y. Williams compares him to former Gaucho guard Derrick Allen (1990-2000).

Like Harmon, Childress is a 6-foot-0, 180-pound point guard. As a senior at Leuzinger HS, he averaged 16.1 points, 4.4 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game while leading the team to a 24-6 record, including a perfect 10-0 in the Bay League and a spot in the CIF Southern Section Division III-A semifinals. Following the season, he was named First Team All-CIF, the Bay League Player of the Year, All-Bay League and All-Area by the South Bay Daily Breeze.

“Eric is very quick and a really good passer who has a feel for the game,” Williams said. “He’s also a good defender and a good open shooter. I think he’ll fit in very well with our guys and the way we play.”

Hart is a 6-foot-10, 210 pounder who averaged just over 35 points per game while leading Immaculata to the provincial 1A title and earning MVP honors. He was a member of the under-17 Team B.C. at the Canadian championships and, in fact, the only member of the bronze medal squad to make the tourney’s all-star team last summer. Hart is also very young and will not turn 18 until December.

“Alex can really shoot it for a big and has legitimate three-point range,” Williams said. “He can also run, bounce it and he’s very skilled. He also has good instincts on offense and can move with and without the ball, but he does need to get stronger and he is very young, but we think he can develop into an outstanding player for us.”

The trio of late recruits will join a group of returnees that include forwards Alan Williams, Taran Brown, Mitch Brewe, Keegan Hornbuckle, Sam Beeler and Shawn Moore, guards Kyle Boswell, Aahmad Walker, Michael Bryson, T.J. Taylor and Duke Daré, and possibly swingman John Green is recovering after breaking a bone in his foot last summer.